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Students from across Australia will line up in their human-powered vehicles at the RACV Energy Breakthrough in Maryborough this weekend.
The three-day event sees teams of racers pedal their machines as far as 900 kilometres in less than 24 hours.
In 2017, Golden Square Primary School will field their first team in the HPV challenge, having received a community grant from Bendigo council to construct a racing vehicle.
Their craft, known as Pacman, consists of a basic chassis encased in perspex and yellow plastic. Team members take turns lying inside, almost parallel to the group, while cycling pedals situated at the nose of the machine.
At least half the team members must be female.
Golden Square school captain Phoebe Lonsdale said racers started preparing to tackle the central Victorian course in June.
About 100 teams will compete in their category on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
"We have been training every Tuesday, and we've been doing training in school times," Phoebe said.
Getting ready in time for the event was challenging, she said, with students also preparing presentations around the themes of sustainability and the environment.
Student Blake Bennett said the weather would prove the hardest part of the weekend’s race, with temperatures expected to hit 30 degrees on the track.
“It’s going to get extremely hot inside Pacman, even if everyone is wearing [light clothing],” he said.
Blake also explained the vehicle earned its name because the way it ran over yellow traffic cones during one of its first forays onto the track, reminding competitors of computer game Pacman.
But piloting the streamlined machine got easier with time, he said, and tight corners were the only remaining challenge for him and his teammates.
The school has had two practice outings ahead of this week’s main event, one in Bendigo and the other at Casey Fields.
Teacher Shane Freer said there was so much interest from the school community that Golden Square would save for a second, more sophisticated trike in 2018, as well as invest in a enclosed trailer in which to transport the vehicles.
He thanked local businesses Century Batteries, Drew Thorpe Music and Coates Hire for offering support to the project.
Also lending their support were parents, families and classmates. About 50 students from Golden Square would be bussed to Maryborough on Friday to watch the first day of competition.
Similar events run across Australia, including the International Pedal Prix in South Australia and the RACQ Technology Challenge in Queensland.